Most kids count down the days each year until they are able to go on Christmas break.
If you’re like most families, the approach of the holiday season brings with it the anticipation of a few weeks filled with family togetherness and merry memory-making. But when it comes to kids, time away from school means that they will need other activities to keep them occupied.
Instead of showering kids with a pile of hot clothes or toys, make it a tradition to give them the gift of a memorable holiday experience. It’s amazing how much kids value and remember family traditions. Unlike anything else, they’re a source of fun, they strengthen family bonds and they form a meaningful link to the past. Whether you’re baking cookies, watching a favorite holiday movie or piling into the car to look at neighborhood lights, don’t underestimate the value of time spent together, enjoying each other’s company.
Here are 5 fun ways to make this holiday a memorable one:
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1. Make meaningful conversation.
Conversations are often the most special part of memorable event. To make the most of outings and experiences this holiday season, have a few solid topics up your sleeve to engage your family. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself griping about to-do lists, homework and basketball schedules during your special outing instead of the things you really wanted to share.
As you drive around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, maybe ask your kids about their favorite Christmas memories or what they’re grateful for in their lives. Or, before attending a church service or local event, sit down and talk about what Christmas truly means to each member of your family. You may be surprised at the answers — and it will make each event and activity that much more meaningful.
2. There really is no place like home for the holidays.
Making special holiday memories doesn’t always have to mean going somewhere. In fact, some of your most treasured experiences can be created inside the four walls of your house, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money or cause a lot of stress to be perfect.
Take a regular weeknight dinner and turn it into a magical holiday meal by dimming the lights, lighting candles on the table and playing holiday music in the background. Serve sparkling juice or cider in special glasses and pull out the fancy china for once. It’s a special night you and your family won’t soon forget.
3. Make something out of nothing.
A meaningful holiday experience doesn’t have to cost a ton, and it doesn’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. In fact, your family can make routine holiday tasks into beloved traditions. For example, get everyone together to wrap gifts for friends and family, and share hot chocolate and cookies while you’re curling ribbon and cutting paper. Or let everyone climb into special holiday pajamas and pile into the car to look at the beautiful holiday lights in your town.
Certainly, one great way to keep kids engaged during their time off from school is to get them involved in volunteering to help out those in need. In fact, showing kids the value of volunteering can instill in them a positive sense of service that will likely stay with them throughout their lives.
For some ways to show kids just how much of an impact volunteering makes, you could have them go with a group to deliver donated items to needy families or to help out serving food at a local shelter for the poor.
5. Engage in a Holiday Family Reading
The holidays are a time of reflection – and what better way to do that than to catch up on reading some great holiday classics like The Night Before Christmas or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. To really keep kids engaged, have each child read a portion of the book out loud to other family members. This is sure to keep everyone involved.
Best wishes for a festive and meaningful holiday season!
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